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Fall 2015 MAPR Faculty Mentor List

The following faculty are considering accepting new MAPR applicants into their research programs.  It is strongly suggested that these specific faculty members be considered as potential mentors when completing Part D of the MAPR application.

This procedure applies to MAPR applicants only.


Potential Mentors, Fall 2015 Admission

Courtney Ahrens
I am broadly interested in community psychology and the psychology of women. My research focuses on violence against women (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence) with an emphasis on campus-based prevention, the criminal justice response to survivors, and the ways in which culture affects survivors’ experiences of abuse, help-seeking, and recovery.

James Amirkhan
Stress and coping, health psychology, attribution theory. As a Personality psychologist, I am particularly interested in individual differences in the above domains — e.g., the person-related variables that lead one person to confront a stressor and another to avoid it.  Currently, I am using a recently published measure (Amirkhan, 2012) to identify those most likely to develop stress-related disorders in high-risk groups.

Young-Hee Cho
I am broadly interested in factors influencing psychological well-being among elders.  Interested in understanding factors that have impact on elders’ subjective estimation of their life expectancy and the consequence of these estimations on psychological well-being.

Chi-Ah Chun
My broad area of research interest is in minority mental health.  Currently, I have two active research programs.  The first one examines the role of cultural values and attribution in the stress and coping process in Korean immigrants.  The second study investigates how cultural beliefs influence coping with symptoms of PTSD in Cambodian refugees.

Maricela Correa
My research examines the organization of childhood and family life in communities that do not have a long history of participation of schooling.  In particular I examine some of the ways that families organize teaching and learning in everyday family and community life and some of the strengths associated with these forms of learning.  My work has centered on families that have historical roots in the Americas (Mexico and Central America in particular) as well as in immigrant families.

Martin Fiebert
Variables related to Facebook behaviors; Transpersonal Psychology and Meditation.

Araceli Gonzalez
I am broadly interested in assessment and treatment of internalizing disorders (i.e., anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, somatic complaints) in children/adolescents and parents. Specifically, my work focuses on (a) trying to understand risk factors for the development of these problems, and how risk and resilience factors might vary in different cultural groups, and (b) developing and improving culturally sensitive mental health services for these problems. I am currently conducting research examining youth stress response during interactions with their anxious parents. I am also conducting a pilot study to examine the role of community mental health workers in delivering a behavioral intervention for anxiety and depression to low-income Latinos in a rural medical setting.

May Ling Halim
In my primary line of research I study how, across different cultural groups, children’s gender identities develop from preschool to early elementary school. I am interested in both adherence to gender norms (i.e., girls wearing pink from head to toe) and deviation from gender norms (i.e., tomboys). I also investigate what factors lead to differences in gender identities (e.g., cognition), as well as what consequences are associated with them (e.g., intergroup gender attitudes, interest in STEM-related fields, psychological adjustment).  In my secondary line of research I study how forms of group-based discrimination (ethnic, gender, language) interact with one’s identity in affecting one’s personal health and the health of one’s child.

William Pedersen
My research is primarily focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence.  I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, attachment style, and religiosity.  I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including rumination, social support, power restoration, alcohol priming, and drug use.  A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health.  Finally, I have smaller research programs in the areas of both intergroup relations and evolutionary psychology (specifically gender differences in mating strategies).

Sherry Span
My research to date has focused on the relation among the following: 1. Risk factors associated with alcohol/substance abuse; 2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); 3. Clinical Neuropsychology.

Dustin Thoman
My research focuses on how individuals develop and maintain motivation (particularly for long-term pursuits), and how this motivation is influenced by the individual’s social context.  More specifically, I aim to understand the social nature of intrinsic motivation, the development of interests and integration of interests into identity, and how stereotypes and discrimination influence interest, motivation, and choices.  This program of research relates to several topics, including: intrinsic motivation, development of interest, stereotypes and social stigmas, self-regulation, development of self and identity, attributions, and evaluation.  Although much of my research occurs in the lab, I am passionate about the applied aspect of this research, as well as how these processes function across cultures.  My training is grounded in social psychology, but my research interests also strongly overlap with developmental and educational psychology.

Guido Urizar
My research in the area of Clinical & Health Psychology has focused on examining psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological factors associated with mental and physical health outcomes.  The primary objective of this research is to identify groups that are at-risk for chronic health problems and to develop and test community-based interventions that are designed to promote chronic disease prevention and management in low-income, ethnic minority, and other medically underserved populations.  Specific areas of my research include examining the impact of stress and its biomarkers (e.g., cortisol) on health, identifying risk factors for adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, and evaluating the efficacy of health behavior programs (e.g., exercise, nutrition, stress management) on preventing stress-related disorders. For more information about my PRO-Health research group, please refer to the following web site:

Arturo Zavala
Areas of interests include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology.  Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life.